You see teenagers everywhere and the media keep telling them to change themselves. Be it in magazines, hosted on the internet, on TV in the hundreds of adverts, and of course in the movies. Advertising is a means to an end, and designed to make a person want to buy something or to go on a diet. This article will focus on the teenage diet.

Images in the media send a wrong message to our teens – they say you will be a lot happier if you are thin. They say it will make you beautiful and in control of your life. But remember, we all come in different shapes and sizes. Some are destined to be large, due to their very own DNA.

Many of our teenagers turn to diets as they feel the need to change their body and look to feel better about themselves. This puts them on a roller-coaster ride of weight loss and weight gain and can damage their health as their idea of weight loss goals are not suitable and very idealistic

Here are some facts about Teenagers and dieting:
1 in 2 females and 1 in 4 males will try dieting to try change the shape of their body.
1 in 3 teenage girls will try to diet even though they are at their ideal weight.
Teenagers who have a low self-esteem will be more likely to go on a diet than a teenager with a good self image.
A lot of teenagers are unhappy with their weight, feeling fat even though they are not.
They will diet due to feeling disconnected to their families and school.
They also feel that they have no control over their lives and dieting gives them the control they desire.

As teenagers you get a lot of peer pressure to have that perfectly thin body. You hear a lot about how bad it is to be fat. So the question you are asking yourself is: So whats so bad about dieting?

You are more likely to gain weight if you try dieting, as it leads you to feeling deprived of all the food you love and it may make you overeat.

A few notes about how you may feel when on diet:

1) hungry and preoccupied with food (thinking about it all the time)
2) distracted and tired
3) sad and unmotivated
4) cold and dizzy
5) deprived of foods you enjoy

Skipping meals, using weight loss pills, going on a “crash” diet, vomiting after eating, and using laxatives can be extremely dangerous to your health. Teenagers are still growing, and the right amount of nutrients are needed to stay healthy. So eliminating certain food groups, and taking in too little calories in the developing years, can have a very negative effect on the teenager.

By being physically active and eating well you will gain a better feeling about yourself. So it is important to be aware of what you eat without obsessing over it.

Some important tips for healthy eating:

1) Try eating a wide variety of healthy foods every day.
2) Make sure you eat breakfast every day.
3) Try eating when you are hungry, and ensure you stop when you are full.
4) Ensure you eat all four food groups every day.
5) Drink water rather than soft drinks or juice.
6) Ensure you choose foods that are high in fiber (like bran, wheat and rye). Cereal bars are also good.
7) When eating out, stop once you are full (fast food/restaurant portions are bigger than most people need).
8) Using food to make yourself feel better when you are bored, sad or upset is a definite NO!

Physical activity is a vital part of staying healthy, and feeling good about yourself. So try to spend time everyday doing something active that you enjoy, especially with the people you love.

Candice is a full time author and entrepreneur. Visit her Minka Lavery lighting fixtures website for detailed information on hundreds of residential light fixtures, and accessories.

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